The Restore Our Parks Act includes significant investment in national parks’ $11.6 billion maintenance backlog
Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Rob Portman (R-OH), Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Angus King (I-ME) introduced a bipartisan bill to jump start overdue maintenance projects in America’s more than 400 national parks. The Restore Our Parks Act (S.3172) would provide dedicated funding that would go toward reducing the National Park Service’s maintenance backlog. The new bill will use revenue the government receives from energy production on federal lands and waters – a total of $6.5 billion over five years – to repair park roads, visitor facilities, crumbling trails and other structures.
Below is a statement by Theresa Pierno, President and CEO for National Parks Conservation Association:
“This bill comes at a critical time for our national parks. From Gettysburg to Yellowstone to the Everglades, deteriorating historic buildings, rundown trails and crumbling roads throughout our National Park System are in desperate need of repairs. Our national parks are more popular than ever, welcoming a record-breaking 331 million visitors last year. Despite a significant increase in visitation over the past five years, our parks have remained underfunded and understaffed. This bill provides relief from repairs plaguing the park system that if left unaddressed, will adversely impact visitor experiences and surrounding communities that depend on park tourism.
“National parks bring people together and help bridge political party lines. Under the leadership of Senators Warner, Portman, Alexander and King, this compromise legislation will put a significant investment into the National Park Service’s maintenance backlog needs. We commend the leadership of these park champions for their bill that makes a strong investment in our parks that they desperately need and deserve. America’s national parks include our most treasured landscapes and historic and cultural sites that must be protected and maintained so that future generations have the opportunity to learn about the people and places that have shaped our nation’s legacy.
“By addressing parks’ maintenance needs, Congress will also invest in local communities across the country. National parks are economic engines for gateway communities, supporting thousands of jobs and generating more than $18 billion in economic impact every year. Lawmakers should seize this opportunity and add their support to help fix our parks and recognize the value they provide nationwide.”
About National Parks Conservation Association Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its 1.3 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspirational places for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.